Spring begins in late March, and it's also the start of the busy season for any big farm. That means anything you can do to get ready before spring hits, the better positioned you'll be to have a productive rest of the year. But what steps can you take before the warmer season even begins?
We've put together a list of eight tips to help any farmer prepare for all the hard work that awaits them in spring and beyond.
1. Carry Out Inspections
No matter how long you've been farming and how well you know how to do your work, you cannot depend on all of your tools, vehicles, and buildings lasting forever. Winter is the perfect time to carefully examine all of the equipment you regularly use and make sure it still functions properly. This will also give you plenty of time to order replacement parts, patch up holes in the barn, and so on. Better to get this stuff taken care of before it's springtime and you're far too busy to worry about these smaller details.
2. Clean Everything
People usually talk about "spring cleaning," but as a farmer, you should seriously consider doing some intense winter cleaning. From livestock shelters to sheds to the surfaces of your tractors, everything on a farm is going to get dirty over the course of a busy year. Take the time when things are a little slower to get everything looking shiny and new.
3. Test Your Soil
It's easy to overlook soil testing, but it's a good idea to check the pH and mineral levels in your farm's soil relatively regularly. Most soil tests will cover a variety of measurements, including potassium, magnesium, lime, phosphorus, calcium, and plenty more. These tests can help you discover problems in the soil before they ruin your crops or help you determine what the best seeds for your property would be going into a new year.
4. Check Your Animals
If you have animals on your farm, you should use wintertime to make sure your animals are healthy and happy. Schedule appointments with a veterinarian as needed, and make sure all of your animals' inoculations are totally up to date. It'll be better to handle this now rather than have to deal with animal emergencies when you're already overloaded with work later in the year.
5. Take Care Of Paperwork
One of the less exciting parts of operating a successful farm is all of the bureaucratic stuff that needs to be handled. Before spring hits, you should handle any government paperwork, such as taxes, as well as renewing contracts with any suppliers you're partnered with. This is exactly the kind of busywork you don't want to be stuck fretting over when you're in the midst of growing or harvesting season.
6. Research New Crops, Tools, And Methods
With farming, it's easy to get set in your ways. You learned a very specific method to grow specific crops, and that's what you stick with. But before spring hits, it's a great idea to take some time to look into some of the latest technology, equipment upgrades, and even new crops that you might want to consider trying out on your farm. This research should end up leading to more proficient farming or crops that bring in more money. It can be well worth the time spent!
7. Get The Soil Ready
There are a lot of steps you'll need to take before you can begin planting seeds in the spring, and some of those steps can be taken even before winter is officially over with. Even during the cold months, you can keep the soil clean by getting rid of weeds as they pop up. As spring gets closer and the earth begins to thaw, you can start breaking up the soil using a cultivator. The more prep work you do now, the faster you can get to planting when it's warm.
8. Be Sure To Relax!
Farming is hard work, but it's important not to burn yourself out. There's no real off-season for a farmer, but winter is a little less crazy than other seasons. All of this preparation work is important, but it's also important that you take some time for yourself. Give yourself space to breathe and take pride in all the tough work you did last year. It'll be another busy year once spring hits, so rest while you can!
The farming life isn't easy, but these tips will help you prepare for a busy but productive spring. The more time you spend preparing, the more you can focus on the task at hand once it's spring. And remember that we're here to help you with high-quality replacement parts that will keep your farm operating smoothly for years to come.